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‘Extraordinary Cheeriness and Good Will’: The Uses and Documentation of First World War Slang

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posted on 2015-05-01, 09:56 authored by Julie M. Coleman
‘‘Extraordinary Cheeriness and Good Will’: The Uses and Documentation of First World War Slang’ by Julie Coleman explores the relationship between slang lexicography and secondary slang usage during and shortly after the war. It explains that WWI slang has been documented in dictionaries and glossaries during the war itself and to the present day. For modern audiences, First World War slang encapsulates the poignancy of the human experience: it represents a brittle bravado that concealed and controlled unspeakable emotions and experiences. This chapter explores how WWI slang was used by contemporary writers during the war and in the interwar period: to demonstrate national characters, good morale, camaraderie across social and national divisions, common humanity, freedom of speech and virility, and to authenticate personal experience and knowledge. It was also, and sometimes simultaneously, used to manipulate readers into believing that the war was progressing well or into providing financial support for the war effort. In the last few months of the war, military slang begins to be treated as indicative of poor education, the lack of respect for religion and authority, social breakdown and failed communication. ‘‘Extraordinary Cheeriness and Good Will’: The Uses and Documentation of First World War Slang’ argues that slang that had seemed plucky and unifying during the war was, only a few years later, dismissed as both vulgar and derivative.

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Citation

Coleman, JM, ‘Extraordinary Cheeriness and Good Will’: The Uses and Documentation of First World War Slang, ed. Declercq, C, 'Languages of the First World War', Palgrave Macmillan

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/Organisation/COLLEGE OF ARTS, HUMANITIES AND LAW

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  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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Coleman

Publisher

Palgrave Macmillan

Editors

Declercq, C.

Language

en

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